A law which would make it illegal to smack children in Wales has moved a step closer after the Welsh Government published a bill removing "reasonable punishment" as a defence.
The defence is currently available to parental figures if accused of assault or battery against a child.
The Government-led bill is being supported by a number of organisations including the NSPCC, Barnardo's and Action for Children.
The bill will now be discussed by assembly members, with Welsh Government sources confident it will be passed by the National Assembly and brought into law next spring.
The Government said the legislation will be accompanied by an awareness-raising campaign and support for parents.
Research published last year found 81% of parents of young children in Wales disagreed that "it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child", while a survey in 2017 found only 11% of parents with young children reported they had smacked their children in the last six months.
The legal defence of "reasonable chastisement" has been used in law since 1860.
Wales would join 54 countries around the world which have already banned the physical punishment of children, including Greece, Latvia, Albania, DR Congo, Kenya, with Sweden being the first to do so back in 1979.
But the plans have been criticised by the campaign group Be Reasonable - backed by The Christian Institute and The Family Education Trust - which said the legislation would criminalise parents.